Watch your carbs

The emailer was Jeffrey Jenkins of Carbide Audio LLC. "We just released an updated version of our footer called the Evo version. It's about 14% shorter than the one you have, with a new stainless steel top section, an updated lower ball bearing section with 50% larger ball bearings and 2 x as many viscoelastic elements. From a measurement perspective, performance in the bass and midrange is similar to the original but high-frequency damping is quite a bit better. The top and bottom surfaces of the footer now have machined ridges to reduce contact area and provide better coupling. The bottom ball bearing section now also responds a bit better to low-amplitude vibrations. In about two months we'll also have a Premium version which replaces the top center steel section with an additional ball-bearing isolation stage. Customers who own the new Evo version can upgrade to the Premium version by simply replacing the top center section.

"I also found a way to machine the bearing raceways on the Premium version out of pure ceramic. The current plan is to coat bearings and raceways in synthetic diamond using the PVD process. This is similar to how Magico and Raidho diamond-coat their drivers. The ceramic core is important to create a strong substrate for the final thin coating. The geometry of the bearing and raceways promotes more effective transmission-path evasion of reflected vibration energy. In this new version we're also using a manganese-copper alloy. Invented during the early 90's in Japan, this alloy has extreme damping ability better than rubber but is a rigid metal. It's basically the same 'Exium AM' material Nagra use on their new reference turntable. I'm working on various temperature treatments which further enhance the damping ability of this material. I'll update you on progress."

If you've observed my recent descent into subwoofer-led bass and associated floor isolation needs—the latest reviews on the subject cover the Wellfloat and Boenicke wire-suspension solutions—you know how serious I take this topic. Here I call it watching your carbs because today's mini feature is about the new 'n' improved Carbide footers. Just like friends don't let friends drive drunk, you shouldn't drive bass-capable speakers and subwoofers on resonant floors without disrupting vibrational transfer between them. If you don't use effective isolation footers or platforms, the entire floor becomes a quasi soundboard. Now your transducers act like piano strings coupled to said soundboard; or woofers hard-mounted to a boom truck's chassis. Gain from reactive structures is always behind the beat to add bloomy blur and confuse the time domain. Long wavelengths also migrate easily through the floor into adjoining rooms and apartments. Effective floor isolation reduces this objectionable transmission for happier neighbors. Better sound, greater domestic peace. It's a classic win/win.